The meerkat is a small diurnal herpestid (mongoose) weighing on average about 731 grams (1.61 pounds) for males and 720 grams (1.58 pounds) for females. Its long slender body and limbs give it a body length of 25 to 35 cm (10 to 14 inches) and an added tail length of 17 to 25 cm (7 to 10 inches). Its tail is not bushy like all other mongoose species, but is rather long and thin and tapers to a black or reddish colored pointed tip. The meerkat uses its tail to balance when standing upright. Its face tapers, coming to a point at the nose, which is brown. The eyes always have black patches around them, which help deflect the sun’s glare. The meerkat has small black crescent-shaped ears that can close when digging to keep sand out. Like cats, meerkats have binocular vision, a large peripheral range, depth perception, and eyes on the front of their faces.
At the end of each of a meerkat’s “fingers” is a non-retractable, strong, 2 cm (0.8 in) long, curved claw used for digging burrows and digging for prey. Claws are also used with muscular hindlegs to help climb the occasional tree. They have four toes on each foot and long slender limbs. The coat is usually fawn-colored peppered with gray, tan, or brown with a silver tint. They have short parallel stripes across their backs, extending from the base of the tail to the shoulders. The patterns of stripes are unique to each meerkat. The underside of the meerkat has no markings but the belly has a patch which is only sparsely covered with hair and shows the black skin underneath. The meerkat uses this area to absorb heat while standing on its rear legs, usually early in the morning after cold desert nights.
Taken at Busch Gardens Florida

All Products

animal, south, african, mongoose


  • Robert Elliott
    Robert Elliottalmost 5 years ago

    Brilliant capture Kate

  • Thank you so much Robert:))

    – Kate Adams

  • lorilee
    lorileealmost 5 years ago

    Aren’t these guys fun to watch!!!! Beautifully captured, Kate!!!

  • Thanks so much Lori, I used to see these guys everyday in my garden when I lived in South Africa, they are so comical!!:))

    – Kate Adams

  • Barrie Daniels
    Barrie Danielsalmost 5 years ago

    Natures clowns, who doesn’t luv’em,
    a great photograph!

  • Many thanks Barrie, they lived in my garden and as you say such clowns, they kept me occupied for hours:))

    – Kate Adams

  • ginabgood1
    ginabgood1almost 5 years ago

  • Thank you so very much Gina:))

    – Kate Adams

  • Cheryl  Lunde
    Cheryl Lundealmost 5 years ago

    So cute!

  • Thank you so much Cheryl:))

    – Kate Adams

  • Franklin Lindsey
    Franklin Lindseyalmost 5 years ago

    Wow! I’ve been thinking about these creatures lately after missing them on TV here. They are wonderful animals to watch.

  • Many thanks Franklin – they are such comedians:))

    – Kate Adams

  • Joseph Rieg
    Joseph Riegalmost 5 years ago

    Nice capture here, Kate. It’s as if they are playing King of the Hill, and the one down below just can’t get to the top….Well done.

  • Thanks Joseph, there is always one that takes the lead:))

    – Kate Adams

  • Curtiss Simpson
    Curtiss Simpsonalmost 5 years ago

    Nice one Kate !!!

  • Thanks so much Curtiss:))

    – Kate Adams

  • LudaNayvelt
    LudaNayveltalmost 5 years ago

    wow, how cute

  • Thank you so much Luda:))

    – Kate Adams

  • AliceDoodles
    AliceDoodlesalmost 5 years ago

    Your cohosts Cee and Chris

  • Thank you too:))

    – Kate Adams

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

10%off for joining

the Redbubble mailing list

Receive exclusive deals and awesome artist news and content right to your inbox. Free for your convenience.